Paleo, Atkins, the Cabbage Soup Diet… There is no shortage of fad diets and quick fixes. It seems as though every week, there’s a new miracle diet that will ‘make you lose weight fast’ or make you ‘live longer’. But with many of these diets, there are risks involved, together with a few potential benefits you might get. One of the diets that have stood the test of time, however, is the ‘Mediterranean diet’. Read on to learn more about it, and how it can benefit your health!
Many fad diets have been controversial and won’t find many nutritionists and doctors advising their patients to follow any of these.
Why are these diets bad?
Most of these diets offer a short-term solution for weight loss, while restricting you to certain food groups. Most doctors won’t recommend following a restrictive diet, except if you have an underlying condition and need to avoid certain foods due to health reasons. Exclusion of certain foods can lead to an insufficient intake of nutrients, meaning you’re not getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need on a daily basis. Proteins, fats, and carbohydrates work together to keep your body working at its best. For instance, fat is needed for the absorption of many nutrients, protects your organs, and is also necessary for normal hormone function. Losing weight at an accelerated pace is not always the best for your bones and muscles. Additionally, by losing weight so quickly, you often put it back on after coming off the diet.
But when it comes to the Mediterranean diet, most health experts will agree that the diet is beneficial for your health. If there is a piece of advice we hear over and over again from health experts, it’s this: eat a balanced diet, include a variety of fruits and vegetables, and exercise moderately. So how does the Mediterranean diet fit in with this recommendation? Well, the most important factor making it ‘acceptable’, is the fact that it’s balanced. Unlike other trending diets, it does not exclude one food group, while you overindulge in another. Moderation and variety are key factors in the Mediterranean diet. The idea is that you make this diet part of your everyday life, instead of looking for a quick-fix to lose a few pounds. With a long-term goal, you will be much better off in terms of your health.
So, what does the Mediterranean diet include?
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables – the greater the variety, the better.Include legumes (e.g. chickpeas, lentils, beans, etc.) – legumes are high in protein and vitamins and are also economical.When eating carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and rice, opt for wholegrain – it’s higher in fiber. Try to reduce your intake of red meat (which is often high in saturated fat) and eat more fish and poultry.
Swop saturated fats for healthier unsaturated fats, such as olive oils, nuts, and avocados. Consume alcohol on a moderate basis and opt for red wine, which contains antioxidants.Limit your intake of processed, sugary products.
As you can see, you have a great variety of foods to include in your daily meals. By not restricting your intake as much, you are more likely to follow the diet, and see results in the long-term.
Will you try the Mediterranean diet? Tell us below!